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February 24, 2021

Author: Boe Eyking

How to Make a Grazing Board: 7 Grazing Platter Ideas (with DIY Tips)

Everybody loves to impress. No matter what the occasion, the element that always stands out and leaves a first and last impression to the guests is food. When it comes to the food you serve, you need to nail everything to wow your guests: Presentation, Taste, Variety, and Originality.


Here’s a little secret—you can guarantee stellar marks on all these factors by learning how to make a grazing platter. It doesn’t take rocket science for you to master how to prepare one, and it will surely add a layer of sophistication to both simple and bigger gatherings.

What is Grazing Board?

A grazing board is a style of dining presentation wherein a board is filled with room temperature-friendly finger food. Think of it as like an exquisite food tasting. It’s casual, but it entails an elaborate presentation to entice all your guests. It does not involve the usual dining table etiquette with all the different kinds of forks, spoons, and knives. Still, it suits small, intimate gatherings and even corporate events and high-end celebrations.


One of the most notable appeals of a grazing board or platter is it is a form of art. You can also add savoury or sweet foods, depending on your taste. Some of the typical food staples in a traditional grazing feast include cheeses of varying textures, fruits like berries, strawberries and grape, and cured meats like salami and prosciutto.

Grazing tables and boards are often compared to a charcuterie board. The two differ in the concentration of flavors. Grazing boards are more inclusive in that you can fill it with sweet and salty snacks. Meanwhile, a charcuterie board focuses on introducing a variety of tastes and textures, albeit leaning more towards savory food. You can distinguish a charcuterie from a grazing platter by the addition of olives, jams, and bread.


The experience of eating without any cutleries may not be as instantly pleasing for some, but it is worth trying even just once. As such, it is important that you make a good first impression with the grazing platter you create.

Types of Grazing Boards

Another wonderful advantage to making grazing boards is its versatility. There is a grazing board for almost every food preference and health requirement. That is why you can never go wrong with this particular manner of serving food. Here are a few popular choices to support your quest to perfect the art of how to create a grazing platter:


Based on food preferences:

Ooey-Gooey Cheesy

Cheese is among the regular “stars” in every grazing board. It’s quite versatile in that it suits purely savoury palettes, balances the acidity from fruits and contrasts the neutral taste and solid textures of crackers and bread. You already have several options with just the cheese alone. Make it stand out with your choice of food to combine it with.

Very Vegetarian

Good news for all health and diet-conscious foodies out there! Grazing boards are very vegan-friendly. It’s the perfect dining option if you want to throw a get-together without compromising your guests’ nutritional requirements. Stick with seasonal veggies and fruits to maintain the freshness and quality of your healthy platter.

Kiddie Faves

Who said grazing boards are only for grown-ups? Kids can enjoy it, too! Throw in some candy bars, tasty fruits, chocolates, and pretzels. It’s a great way to serve and entice their hungry little tummies and you also don’t have to worry about forks and spoons falling on the floor. Most children prefer eating with their bare hands, anyway! Based on the type of board:

Flat lay table

Flat lay tables can be short or long. It is best to choose a table length that accommodates the number of guests you will be expecting at your event. Flat tables are also low-lying boards, so you can use it if you prefer a more intimate dining experience where you sit together with your loved ones and share the food.

Round woven trays

These trays resemble baskets and are best suited for breads and cheeses or platters involving dips. The rustic feel of woven trays likewise fit the vibrant colours of fruits and vegetables.

Natural bark

Using natural bark as a grazing board is a common trend in high-end gatherings with a romantic and naturalistic touch. Think outdoor garden-themed weddings or corporate gatherings with a touch of nature. Serving boards made from natural bark are also more durable against scrapes and cuts, and are therefore not prone to bacterial growth.

Layered tray or table

For large-scale events, grazing platters with multiple layers provide more space to place all your servings. You can even arrange your food in a more strategic manner. Say you want to serve both savory appetizers and sweet desserts. You can place appetizers at the bottom layer and put your sweets at the top or middle layer. Got more time and budget? Prepare multiple layers of grazing boards for each: cheese and meat, fruits and vegetables, and dessert.

How to Create DIY Grazing Board

Now that you have an idea of the possible options you have for a grazing board, it is time to learn how to assemble one on your own:

1. Appeal to the Eyes

As you master how to do a grazing board the first thing you need is to pick the type of board you will use for your servings. What shape will it be? What material is it made of? Does it have a single layer or will it have multiple compartments? People don’t devour the food you serve them with their taste buds alone. They also use their eyes to boost their appetite and experience their meal. An impressive grazing platter will keep your guests’ eyes glued to the food from the beginning up to the end of your event. Don’t have any fancy boards in your pantry? Use a chopping board instead as your DIY grazing platter!

2. Prioritize Sanitation

Place brown wrapping paper, a baking sheet or a butcher paper over your grazing board to prevent food from sticking on the surface or juices from leaking and staining. It will also be handy if you serve crackers and bread since it reduces the time it will take to pick up leftover crumbs after the party. Slice meat, cheeses, and fruits into small portions for your guests’ convenience. When serving meals that come with dips, use ceramic bowls and place it at the center of your platter. In this manner, the dips will not be toppled over once guests begin lining up and picking food one by one. Don’t prep your boards hours before the actual reception or gathering. Otherwise, the extended exposure of some of the food may cause it to spoil quicker than expected. A maximum prep time of two hours is ideal to keep your food fresh even at room temperature.

It would also be helpful and convenient too, if you placed hand sanitizing stations near your catering area.

3. Keep it varied but balanced

Indeed, variety is the very defining element of a noteworthy grazing board. However, that doesn’t make it an excuse to throw in any finger food imaginable and call it a day. Unless the occasion is exclusive to a specific food group (say, a cheese-tasting event), you really need to think outside the box to Think about the people who will attend your event. Brainstorm interesting flavours that would be best introduced on a grazing platter or picture food staples that go well together or complement each other in terms of texture and taste. Also, how much time do you have for prepping? Will there be enough time to spare to gather your ingredients?

4. Find inspiration

Pinterest is a great source of inspiration if you are running out of ideas for arranging your board. A simple search involving easy DIY grazing platter suggestions will generate multiple beautiful images and tips that you can replicate in no time. Make an effort to add a touch of your personality when prepping your grazing tray. Your goal is to make it as festive and uniquely yummy looking as possible that it will leave your guests coming back for more.

5. Take photos and ask guests for feedback

Aside from replicating ideas and suggestions you can find online, another option is to save your work for every event and use it as your reference for future gatherings you will be hosting. Doing so likewise makes it easier to customize your boards for your succeeding events. At the same time, take a moment to sit with your guests and ask them about their experience with the grazing board you’ve prepared for them. Find out which elements worked for their palette and what part of the arrangement impressed them the most. Ask them for suggestions on how you can improve your platter based on their level of satisfaction with the food presentation and serving size.


Learning the tricks to creating your own grazing platter menu is truly worth your time and effort. Not only will you enrich your background about food preparation and dining, but you will also potentially develop a new hobby that you can share with your family and friends.

On the other hand, if you feel that you are not yet well-equipped to make your very own grazing board, then you can always rely on the expertise of your fellow foodies at Platternboe. We prepare delectable Cheese Boards and Dessert Boards for every occasion. We also prepare Mini Party Tables for customers who want more pizazz in their events. All our grazing board selections are filled with fresh, premium ingredients.

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